HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, June 26, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 

To view the full text of these opinions, please visit: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.recent or Lexis subscribers may use the links below to access the cases on either lexis.com or Lexis Advance. 

The Supreme Court of Washington filed 3 new opinions and Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed 1 new published opinion on Thursday, June 26, 2014::

Supreme Court:

1. BAC Home Loan Servicing LP v. Fulbright
(June 26, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 480 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 480 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: This case concerned the interplay between Washington's Condominium Act, chapter 64.34 RCW, redemption statute, chapter 6.23 RCW, and recording act, chapter 65.08 RCW. The court held that a condominium association establishes its priority to collect unpaid condominium assessments at the time the condominium declaration is recorded, even though it is not enforceable until the unit owner defaults on his or her assessments. The Condominium Act creates an exception to the recording act and can alter the established priorities. In this case, the effect of the foreclosure lawsuit was to give the condominium association's lien priority over the bank’s interest, bringing the bank within the redemption statute provisions.

2. In re Personal Restraint of Cross
No. 79761-7
(June 26, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 481 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 481 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: In 2001, the petitioner pleaded guilty to the aggravated first degree murders of his wife and two of her three daughters. A unanimous jury sentenced him to death. The petitioner's direct appeal was unsuccessful. State v. Cross, 156 Wn.2d 580 (2006). The petitioner subsequently filed a timely personal restraint petition, alleging multiple constitutional errors. The court decided the petitioner's Alford plea issues by separate opinion. In re Pers. Restraint of Cross, 178 Wn.2d 519 (2013) (holding that death sentence could be predicated on Alford plea). The core issues on the present petition were (1) whether admission of the petitioner's custodial statements to police officers and a police detective violated the Fifth Amendment; (2) whether there was cumulative error; (3) whether the petitioner’s attorneys rendered ineffective assistance of counsel; and (4) whether the death penalty statute is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court rejected all of the petitioner’s claims and dismissed the personal restraint petition because the petitioner did not show actual and substantial prejudice resulting from any alleged error or deficient conduct. The Miranda violations were harmless, there was no cumulative error, any deficient performance by counsel was nonprejudicial, and the death penalty statutes are constitutional.

3. State v. K.L.B.
No. 88270-3
(June 26, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 479 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 479 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: Because fair enforcement officers are not government employees, are not officers of government, and do not perform a governmental function, they are not “public servants” as defined in RCW 9A.04.110(23). Thus, the juvenile was improperly charged with making a false or misleading statement to the fare enforcement officer under RCW 9A.76.175.

Court of Appeals:

1. State v. Graham
No. 31891-5
(June 26, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1568 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1568 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The charge of trafficking in stolen property was properly dismissed because there was insufficient evidence to show that the defendant sold or transferred stolen property to another person.

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